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 Post subject: Balance- that old dirty word
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:32 pm 
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is really cropping back up again.

Well, we know its not a dirty word, just one that requires a lot of my attention and effort.

I have been living in a whirlwind for awhile. At this point I can't even say when it began- I know its been many months.

Tho I've been working at taking care of myself and have been encouraging myself to take my walks; to eat right (or at least better); to try to balance work with pleasures and 'self care', I can only say that those things have only been sprinkled into I-don't-know-what-nor-when-nor-for-how-long-or-short.

At this point, tho I keep returning to the self-care type things, they are very sporadic. And I cannot at this point determine if work started to carry me away because we got busier earlier this season and hence it's been going on longer (and supposedly soon over, but it really doesnt feel as if we will have our normal respite) or if work is also one of my methods at present of self-care- easier to deal with work vs the facts of my life- that my dad has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

So, while I keep trying to remind myself of what self-care looks like and what I want for myself this year. I am now faced with how to I deal with dad's illness and what do I want for myself in regards to that.

I am really at odds with how to maintain some balance when dad is terminal. While the even the prognosis of __ ? months could be wrong. Add to that that he's fooled each and every one of us as well as his doctors in the past (other conditions). Now factor in the fact that this illness consists of roller coaster symptoms. How the heck do I maintain?

At Xmas I had a week off so visited him every other day by the time I returned to work he was doing well. Work, picked up pace, as expected, OT was required and I obliged since not only is it a temporary thing (and reason for long xmas break), but a project I lead twice a year. As hectic as it was, I didnt check in for a few days, and the next time I do I hear how dad has had 3-4 bad days; has taken a real down turn. Now Im really wanting to visit- needing both a break from work and to see dad- but he's not ready for such (thats how bad he was feeling and how busy he was - dr app'ts; hosp procedures; atty's; visitors. Suddenly it was 1.5 weeks since I had seen him and at the same time he was in pretty bad shape. Finally, a bit shaken by all this, I fangle with my brother and we set up a time for me to visit.

So, I am now realizing that as much as I try to accept as well as prepare for what is ahead- there is no way to do this. And, atm, this just has me.
Moreso- finding some balance here has me. It's like make sure to create balance, yet, at a drop of a hat, shake myself loose from what is going on so that tomorrow I will have no regrets.

Trying to wrap my head around this one, atm.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:23 pm 
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Sounds like some very difficult days for you, Smilin'.

So you are trying to take care of yourself and all around you are obligation, fear, anger, disappointment nipping at your heels and you know dang well if you slow down they'll clamp on for a much bigger bite in the rear.

Will you help me get more clear about the balance you're hoping for as you describe this situation. Is it a matter of work vs family? personal interests vs dad's interests? Hard for me to tell. What's on each side of the scale as you look at it?

As you describe your life, it sounds to me like agility might be another high priority. You've got to be incredibly nimble to be able to satisfy all those rapidly changing priorities.

Are you seeking some form of perfection in the competing domains or would progress and Agreement #4 satisfy you for those?

As I read your description of self care, it occurred to me that one of the best gifts we can give ourselves is a little bit of effective planning and time management when chaos surrounds us and the stakes are very high. I'm not taling about transforming yourself into Steven Covey... eeeewww... you would not look so good bald... hey.. wait.. you are bald, not to mention upside down, and all golden with little beady eyes!!! but some simple stuff you can focus on each day. Overall goals and priorities, Must Dos, Want to Dos, that kinda thing. Managing contacts so they don't take as much time. Sounds dreadfully dreary to me, but I imagine that if you can buy yourself some time for relaxation, even a few minutes each day, you might have more fuel for the other stuff in the long run.

Looking forward to following this thread and I hope you find some answers and peacefulness soon.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:59 am 
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Smilin,
I went through this years ago. I was told to make sure I said anything I ever wanted to say to my dad and I did. When he was in the hospital I would visit every day. I would also take a day off to rest. I needed that. It can get very stressful. There is no way you can control this so I say just take it a day at a time. Visit as much as you can and just try to be with him. Hang in there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:14 pm 
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ibfuddled wrote:
So you are trying to take care of yourself and all around you are obligation, fear, anger, disappointment nipping at your heels and you know dang well if you slow down they'll clamp on for a much bigger bite in the rear..


I think you've touched on something that is somewhat gnawing at me- am I maintaining a pace in order to avoid? Atm, I don't have that answer, as work is pretty busy. I do think, last week, I realized that because of work I wasn't giving just due to what is more important to me. And, maybe, I was kicking myself a bit for such.

Quote:
Will you help me get more clear about the balance you're hoping for as you describe this situation. Is it a matter of work vs family? personal interests vs dad's interests? Hard for me to tell. What's on each side of the scale as you look at it?


Actually, I think all of the above. I don't want work to overtake my need for being with and supporting my family (I am recognizing of late that my bro has been carrying an awful lot; but it is also general support of the family as well as quality time with dad that I am after.) I guess there was/is a fear of either hiding behind work or being overly involved (which I am inclined to anyway, but had been working on breaking.. Think this is one thing that blended into dad stuff... was work really that much busier so I didnt have my own time, or was work a way to avoid some dad stuff.

I think my interests vs dads comes into play when I let too much time go by. It's understandable and to be expected that on some days he just wont want many or any people around. But, last week, I caught myself trying so much to do what I felt was right for him, I realized I was sacrificing my own needs (to see him) and that became a scary proposition.

Quote:
As you describe your life, it sounds to me like agility might be another high priority. You've got to be incredibly nimble to be able to satisfy all those rapidly changing priorities.


This might be what has ahold of me. If I dont figure out what it is I want, I will get pushed and pulled into a variety of directions and later have regrets.

Quote:
Are you seeking some form of perfection in the competing domains or would progress and Agreement #4 satisfy you for those?


Part of what has me is recalling my history of critical events, and I think one came directly to mind last week. At that time there was so much hecticness and so many people involved after my grams death, that due to the variety of emotions and the severity of the situation, I chose to return to work. In the end, it turned out I had missed out on a lot of critical information and I therefore do not really know some facts that the rest of my family is privvy to. While I felt I was taking care of myself and at the same time assisting the family (by not being one more mixed in the fray of emotions stirring about) it turned out, I am left with a lot of unknowns.

The other is slightly different, I did not react in a timely fashion and left my mom to bear the brunt of a difficult situation alone- not for long, but long enough.

Quote:
As I read your description of self care, it occurred to me that one of the best gifts we can give ourselves is a little bit of effective planning and time management when chaos surrounds us and the stakes are very high.


Ty so very much for this. I most often do, under stress, forego the basics- making daily lists; adding in 'me' time; doing some of the basics- like my daily walk. Often I use tiredness as an excuse, but when won't I, under these conditions, be tired?

Quote:
I'm not taling about transforming yourself into Steven Covey... eeeewww... you would not look so good bald... hey.. wait.. you are bald, not to mention upside down, and all golden with little beady eyes!!!


LOL !! me a steven covey??

Quote:
Overall goals and priorities, Must Dos, Want to Dos, that kinda thing. Managing contacts so they don't take as much time. Sounds dreadfully dreary to me, but I imagine that if you can buy yourself some time for relaxation, even a few minutes each day, you might have more fuel for the other stuff in the long run.


Again, ty for this. I would not really factor in 'want to dos' and 'relaxation' at a time like this, figuring it will certainly come, but of late, I do have to make time for it- work primarily being the big thing and at times yes the family.

I will be working on that list, and carving out some 'me' time each morning and each nite. Not sure yet how much time I will give to myself, but I do think, to be partially effective, I must follow your recommendations. I have for the past 3 or more months been using lists moreso, and have found them very effective. (just another thing that has recently dropped off as work load increased)

Quote:
Looking forward to following this thread and I hope you find some answers and peacefulness soon


Again, ty, and ty for your input here. You've provided me some much needed direction.

also- ty for hearing me. Means a lot at this time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:28 pm 
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Committed2Life wrote:
Smilin,
I went through this years ago. I was told to make sure I said anything I ever wanted to say to my dad and I did. When he was in the hospital I would visit every day. I would also take a day off to rest. I needed that. It can get very stressful. There is no way you can control this so I say just take it a day at a time. Visit as much as you can and just try to be with him. Hang in there.


Ty C2L for the advice and support. I'm sorry you have had to go thru similiar. It's a first for me - dealing with terminal illness.

You are right, the lack of control and known is what is so hard. In most other situations you have the expected outcome and see the progres and everyone moves forward (or not, as the case may be). With this, already within 1 month Dad's gone from ER admittal with a cold / heart problems (least is what we thought, as did the docs initially) to bronchitis and an aggressive terminal illness- to feeling pretty damn good, I wouldnt know I was this sick if they hadn't told me- to feeling like this was it- and now he has picked back up again (thanks to a good-sized transfusion).

Spending time in hospitals is not foreign to me in any shape. I've sorta grown up around them- preschool I was in tow to mom as she attended her daily phyiscal therapy. (A couple of the nurses would provide day care- so to speak - for me.) And, yes, whenever a family member is in the hospital (which has been often) we do our best to visit daily or as often as we can. It can be tiring, indeed. It can be emotional or emotionally void. Life becomes askew. Maybe this is part of what is odd- life isnt quite on its' side and yet, I am afraid it'll be over the next time I blink and I will not have said all I need to (tho Ive had one lil heart to heart w/ dad, and he with me already.)

One thing I am toying with is seeing if he- if this strength maintains- is willing to share what life was like in the other house as I have no memories of that. Likewise I'd like to review some of our early history in the current family home.

My last visit with him last week, felt awkward. Perhaps because I forced my visit upon him.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:24 pm 
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Have decided that I want to spend some time supporting my brother. Not sure what I want in regards to my time with my dad. Most of my recent visits have been amongst a group (family) and dad has been pretty quiet. Is looking tho his time may be short. Not sure what is 'left' for us. Part of the problem is I can be very responsive vs taking a lead/control. Huge problem for me. Especially now. If dad isn't talking much, I usually let him be- offer random conver. That could, in this instance, lead to things feeling unsettled in the end.

Very different negotiating this. Hoping work slows up a tad within the next couple of weeks, so I can spend some time with Dad. Hoping there are a couple of weeks left- cannot tell, but at this time I would have to say yes.

Not sure atm what I want for myself either. Work is demanding and crazy and is not esp letting up.. can catch a breathe, but that is it atm.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:44 pm 
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I'm sorry about your Dad's failing health. I admire you for being able to have even one heart to heart with him, and he with you. I wish I had a closer relationship with my father. He's not sick, but at age 93, it could happen any time.

You said your Dad is quieter now, and you are worried about things being unsettled. Are there specific things you want to discuss with your father? Is it what you wrote about wanting to know about life in your other house? You don't have to answer here, but I wondered if you know exactly what you want to be settled with him.

I don't feel like there's anything to settle with my father. I don't want to hurt him so there's no use trying to get any of my needs met by him now. My visits with him alone are awkward, as my stepmother used to do most of the talking.

You're doing the best you can, juggling work and seeing your Dad and wanting to support your brother. It's hard when our parents gets sick and we have to face their deaths. I feel for you.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:53 am 
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Thanks Wondering.

Yeah, I can relate to how it must feel to watch your dad's health deteriorate. Guess we (me and my family) are just in the 'fast-track' mode of that. Dunno that either is better than the other, eh?

I can imagine it is painful to spend time w/ your Dad but feel that distance, especially since, like myself, you seem to be very comfortable with closeness. I think, atm, I am dealing with a bit of this myself. Earlier on, and when things were a bit quieter, Dad would talk some about what was going on for him. Of late, he is not doing such. I think some because with a house full of people it's not quite appropriate, nor, perhaps, does he feel as comfortable sharing such in a group. Also, things are changing for him- he's seeing himself lose strength and I think it is having him face what is ahead (however one accomplishes that?! ).

As far as what I want, yes, a week ago, he was okish and I thought that perhaps on one of these visits if it were only a few of us, I could ask him to describe how our life was back then. What this is about is once dad is gone, there is no one to discuss this with and in the upcoming years as thoughts come up Ill have no information. There isnt anything per se about those years that are bad or that I need to confront him on. Its more like life pre and post most of my memories; pre and post my moms illness. It was when my folks were young and vibrant and had their lives all ahead of them- they were young and active. And this also therefore causes me to pause- to ask him about this now. Would it be more painful for him.

Today, I am not so sure that is is a good idea. I think I just have to wait and see if I have any alone time with him and see where things are. Perhaps feel it out a bit. Dunno. This was about the only thing that I felt I may, once he is gone, sorta kick myself about. I didn't ask too much about it as a kid. I guess we've all sorta felt that we gotta deal with today. I think adversity brings that to people- you need to let go of the past.

So this is why I say, at present, dont know what I want for myself and dad. Until I am back down there, I also wont know what I want for him right now= other, of course, than to not have to suffer too much.

Then there was the question of what I need given the swirl of activity, emotion going on atm- dad, work etc. And again, atm, dont know. Probably just self-care. Some chill time. And to know I can reach out to a few people when I need. This too is a bit difficult as many people seem to be dealing with their own issues at present.

I hope you realize that you are doing your best with your Dad. He does need to meet you half-way, of course, so please dont take on more feelings of expectations and what that might bring up. Imo, all you can do is try a variety of converstion and see what, if any, he bites at. You never know when it might open him up. In the mean time, keep recognizing that you are doing a lot for him- just by showing up. It's hard when it's not acknowledged, but I can bet you he in his alone time he is lookinig forward to your next visit.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:05 am 
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Finding that I am pretty much all-a-clutter. Have a long long list of to-dos' both wants and needs. I am managing to tackle it some, but things feel too chaotic. I keep trying to prioritize and am probably doing a pretty decent job. Not sure.

I think with work being chaotic; dads health sliding downhill; and the todo's (a lot of needs) being so vast that I dont feel there is much rest. Perhaps I am splitting myself too thin. I do take time out for myself- daily. I think tho I need to do more self nuturing things for a bit. Perhaps I dont really know what my feelings are over this. Occassionaly I get hit with huge waves of sadness. I am aware that the months after dad goes will be really difficult- and more busy than I would prefer. I think perhaps I am using all the doing to avoid. And perhaps I need to stop this.

Alot of my to-dos' will make me feel good about my abilities, but few I think relate to soothing or nuturing or just turning off. I guess perhaps this is what I am missing.

I think in the upcoming weeks, I will take soem time off. I think I will be delaying vacation - tho wow I know getting away would be great, I am not sure I would be comfortable doing that.

So maybe, some time off and time away from all the todos. Maybe I need to totally focus on nuturing and spending time with Dad. Dunno if I'll pull a full week, or take a couple of halves. Dunno work will allow full week.


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